NOTES: derivative work of fiction, characters do not belong to me, I make no profit. NOT AT ALL safe for work, and includes a bit of -cough- risque behaviour. Elsanna, but not incestuous. You have been warned.
Yet another Frozen fic based on a Tumblr ask! Here, I shall transcribe:
Anonymous asked: What if Anna was on the aromantic spectrum and thought she would never know what true love was? What if Elsa was on the [asexual] spectrum and had to conceal it?
Jessica answered: AroAnna and AceElsa. What do you think, high school or college AU? Hmm… *flips imaginary coin* Let's say college, and JUST THIS ONCE it's non-Icest. I know, I don't normally do that, haha.
~ Chapter One ~
"It's bitterly cold up there."
That's what everyone told Anna Zielinski when she announced that she had taken the generous scholarship to study prelaw at Juneau University. Alaska was cold. Of course it was; that's the main thing everybody knows about it, aside from the Sarah Palin thing. It had been one of her reach schools, right after Harvard and Yale and the other Ivies. But none of the other universities had offered her a full ride. Thus, Alaska won. She'd just pack warmly.
Secretly, she was hoping something else might warm up within her when she got there, in a new surrounding, without the preconceptions of her peers. An elusive creature that her best friend Jessie had found with that Lightyear jock their senior year. Maybe all her past "boyfriends", if you could call them that, were right, and she really was just a cold, emotionless fish. But how could she know for sure if she never tried?
As she discovered her first month there, she definitely didn't have any problem with sex. Of course, she already knew that from prom, but now there had been another boy or two. And a girl. And somebody who had given her such good head that she didn't even care what gender they were, if they had one at all. But besides friendship and useful warm appendages, she didn't feel any other connection to them - which frustrated them to no end, of course. Guilt for not feeling anything else was there, most definitely. That wasn't enough to change her heart.
In fact, she had almost entirely given up on anything else happening when the study date happened that changed everything.
Elsa Caulfield wasn't pre-law. She was actually going to uni for something in the humanities; history, or whatever. But they both had to squeak through the same calc course without failing abysmally, and when both she and Anna made equal sighs of utter frustration during one endless lecture, they caught each other's eyes and grinned. That led to the all-night study date for the midterm, fuelled by Red Bull and desperation, that had them making another kind of date.
Nothing with a romantic slant. Anna had given up on that, anyway, and even though she had slept with a woman she didn't consider herself anything besides straight. If she was anything at all. No, they were just going to get together after the midterm and watch a movie, help de-stress. Totally casual.
Or it was supposed to be.
"To be honest, I thought it was going to be way better."
"Me, too," Anna sighed as they pushed their way through the crowd into the campus coffee house. It had been a long film, and they desperately needed a recharge. "Did you see how cheesy the effects were?"
Pulling off her cap, she shook out her blonde bangs so that they fell delicately to either side of her head. "To call those 'effects' is stretching it, I think. I could have done better with Instagram."
"Two caramel macchiatos, please? One with soy milk." As she took out her wallet, Elsa tried to head her off again, and she grunted. "Dude…"
"No, I insist."
"But you paid for the movie! I'm not so poor I can't-"
"But you aren't rich, like my father is. So… let me do this." Grumbling under her breath, she handed over her card and added, "Not like there's much else he'll let me do."
Anna bid her time until their paper cups were warming their hands and they had taken the steps upstairs to the second floor. It had once been an apartment, but the owners of the coffee house had bought that and turned it into additional seating. Most people stayed downstairs, but they had both agreed that going up there was smarter if you wanted to hear yourself think.
"Mmm, that's better," Elsa sighed as she sank into the couch that faced a bay window. She didn't know if Anna would join her or sit across, but when the warm presence plopped down right next to her, she grinned self-consciously. "Hello."
"Sorry," Anna half-laughed. "Is… I mean, do you have a thing about personal space? It's just so empty up here, and I'm still cold, and-"
"Don't worry about it," she laughed in return as she nudged her arm gently. "I just… thought you'd take the window. Sunny spot."
"What do you mean?"
At that, Elsa blushed very slightly as she sipped again. "Just something I figured about you. Coming from Georgia, with all those freckles… I peg you as somebody who'd be outside all the time if you weren't living on a glacier."
"You peg correctly," Anna sighed. "Down there, I'd be outside in the grass until it got to below sixty. Then I'd finally give up and move inside when the cold started to bother me." Another sip of her own, and she leaned over against Elsa more heavily. "But you're warmer than any window seat."
"O-oh, really?" Her blush was only increasing from the proximity of her friend. "Well then, I'm glad to be of service. But you should have said something; I have two jackets on, I'd have let you borrow one."
"Yeah, but then you'd be freezing out there in the snow."
"Nah, it wouldn't bother me the way it does for you. Here." Without even waiting, she set her coffee down on the nearby table and began to shrug off her fur-lined parka.
"Um… you don't have to, and I have a thing about products that are the result of animal cruelt-" But the coat was already enveloping her, filling her with the light minty fragrance and residual warmth of Elsa.
"That's a native garment," she told Anna as she tugged the lapels forward. "Made of otter. No, I wouldn't have purchased it myself if I had any choice, but I can't put it back on the otters. Might as well use the thing as intended."
Anna found it hard to agree with that, though if anyone were to give one to her as a gift, she'd have told them to return it immediately. Still… it was quite warm, and she leaned forward to kiss Elsa on the cheek.
Blushing, Elsa blinked down at Anna with shock. "I… what was that for?"
"For the coat. And for paying for coffee and a movie."
"But…" The befreckled nose was still an inch away from her own, and her cheeks were flaming by now. "But that's not- we only- more than enough just to say-"
"Elsa, you feel nice." Pressing right up against her chest, Anna smiled and said into her ear, "We could feel nice together."
"Did you slip some Jack into your coffee while I wasn't looking?"
Finally, the tiniest bit of chagrin crept into Anna's cheshire smile. "Nope. But if you wouldn't mind it, I'm open to a little off-the-books fun. Just let me know."
"Okay, I will, if needed."
At that, Anna really did frown. Then she drew back, squirming and clutching at the lapels herself. "Oh. I was- sorry, guess I wasn't picking up on the vibe I thought I was."
"No, don't apologise! It's how you feel, I didn't mean… I'm just not…"
"Not interested. Figures."
"That's not it, either… exactly." Swallowing, she shrugged as her eyes turned to look out the window. "Look. All I can say is that these kind of situations, they never quite work out for me. I just get all nervous, and then the other person expects more from me than I can deliver, and… and I…"
"Elsa, it's okay," Anna breathed, placing a hand on her forearm - but Elsa jerked away from that, too. "Look, I was never going to do anything without your permission! Please, please tell me you know that!"
"Of course! This isn't about what you were doing, or it being too far, or anything! I'm just n-not normal, and I can't do things normal people do!"
That stopped Anna cold. "What do you mean, 'not normal'?"
As if realising she had said too much, Elsa made to stand up, but Anna gripped her arm firmly and pulled her down into the seat. Other than the one hand, she made no move to get closer for fear Elsa would tear away from her in a more violent fashion than before.
"You can tell me," she assured her urgently. "Whatever it is, I swear, I'm not… I won't hurt you or anything, I promise. Super, super promise."
Elsa bit her lip for a moment, then shook her head vigorously. The woman simply wasn't ready. Then Anna hugged her tightly and pet her hair as she waited, quietly wondering what on earth was wrong with her friend.
"Sorry," Elsa whispered again as she finally hugged back. "It's something I can't explain very well, and maybe soon I can try. But it's…" A gulp, to delay herself. "I just can't right now."
Fighting back a wave of empathy that would have left her a gibbering idiot, Anna merely hugged Elsa back until she stopped shaking, and beyond that point until she was returning the hug with equal force and gratitude. One way or another, they were going to make it through this class together, regardless of what small hangup Elsa had. Or a least they would both fail with equal splendor.
~ TO BE CONTINUED ~